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McDermott International said it has been awarded a large contract by Saudi Aramco and Total Raffinage Chemie for their planned Amiral mixed feed cracker in Saudi Arabia. The USD 5 billion Project Amiral, to be built in Jubail, will comprise the cracker with a capacity of 1.5 million t/y of ethylene, and related high-value petrochemical units. Start-up is scheduled for 2024.

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Covestro has acknowledged scientific ingenuity for green and digital chemistry and engineering with two awards during its Science Celebration at K 2019 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The American scientist Dr. Newell Washburn is the recipient of the global Covestro Science Award, in recognition of his role in pioneering a scientific digital innovation that speeds the development of customised polyurethane formulations. Washburn is an associate professor of chemistry and biomedical engineering with a courtesy appointment in the department of materials science and engineering at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).

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LyondellBasell on 22 October 2019 announced that Ulsan PP Co. Ltd., a joint venture between PolyMirae Company Ltd, a 50-50 partnership of LyondellBasell and Daelim, and SK Advanced broke ground in the southeastern port city of Ulsan, South Korea. This new plant will utilize LyondellBasell’s world leading fifth generation Spheripol technology and is expected to begin production in May 2021. With its 400,000 t/y capacity, the facility will be one of the largest polypropylene plants of its kind in Asia.

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The Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) announced the results of a two-year survey on the polyurethanes industry in the USA, Canada and Mexico. The 2018 End-Use Market Survey on the Polyurethanes Industry in the United States, Canada and Mexico, produced biennially by independent third-party IAL Consultants, shows that polyurethane production rose to over 9 billion lbs. US polyurethane production rose at a 3.9 % growth rate in all major product segments between 2016 and 2018, with the most significant growth in the thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) market.

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SK Global Chemical is set to acquire French chemical firm Arkema’s functional polyolefins business, in the latest move to boost its packaging business, the firm said Tuesday (15 October 2019). The acquisition, worth EUR 335 million (USD 369 million), is expected to be finalized by the second quarter of next year. The proposed deal is currently under review by antitrust authorities.

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In July 2018, the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) launched the European TRWP Platform to address with relevant stakeholders how to prevent and mitigate the generation and transportation of tyre and road wear particles (TRWP) in the environment.

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Arkema's technical polymers business, in partnership with Agiplast, announces a new regeneration program to recycle high-performance polyamides and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) fluoropolymers. Arkema's new Virtucycle recycling program represents a virtuous cycle that enables customers to partner with Arkema in open-loop and closed-loop initiatives for postindustrial and post-consumer recycling projects for its specialty polymers.

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Solvay announced that it will increase production capacity of its Tecnoflon peroxide curable fluoroelastomer (FKM) by approximately 30 % at its plant in Spinetta Marengo, Italy, to serve ongoing strong demand growth for sealing applications in the automotive, oil and gas, and semiconductor industries.

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The Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) announced a partnership with Plug and Play to create an accelerator programme focused on the plastics value chain to identify startups with different innovations to address plastic waste in the environment.

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United Soft Plastics Inc. has expanded its TPE production capacities in Q3/2019. The company announced that in Houston, TX, USA, a new plant was put into operation in order to support the continued spur of growth globally as well as in the European and German markets. Specifically, the new facility has been designed for running the products being sold in Europe and allowing the global headquarters in Lawrenceville, GA, USA, to focus further on the optimisation and expansion of the automotive, consumer & healthcare and medical Unisoft products. According to their website the company has now a total capacity of 12,000 t/y.

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